Boris Johnson's condition 'improving' and he is 'sitting up in bed' - Chancellor

8 April 2020, 12:58 | Updated: 8 April 2020, 17:06

Boris Johnson is stil stable
Boris Johnson is stil stable. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson's condition is 'improving' in intensive care and he is 'sitting up in bed' while he continues to battle coronavirus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said today.

The 55-year-old Prime Minister was admitted to St Thomas' in London on Sunday, but then taken to ICU on Monday evening after his condition deteriorated throughout the afternoon.

He has since remained under the watchful eye of NHS staff in the ward, and has not needed to be placed on a ventilator.

His official spokesman said earlier: "The Prime Minister remains clinically stable and is responding to treatment.

"He continues to be cared for in the intensive care unit at St Thomas's Hospital. He's in good spirits."

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Dominic Raab has been put in charge of the country while the Prime Minister receives treatement
Dominic Raab has been put in charge of the country while the Prime Minister receives treatement. Picture: PA

The PM continues to receive "standard oxygen treatment" and is "breathing without any other assistance", he said.

When asked about further specifics about his condition or treatment, the spokesman said the update includes all the information the PM's medical team "considers to be clinically relevant".

Since Mr Johnson has been in the intensive care unit, his Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been put in charged of the country.

Mr Raab again chaired the daily Covid-19 meeting on Wednesday morning as he deputises for Mr Johnson.

Asked if anyone has been in contact with the Prime Minister, the spokesman said: "The PM is not working, he's in intensive care, he has the ability to contact those that he needs to, he's following the advice of his doctors at all times."

Mr Johnson's fiancee Carrie Symonds is currently heavily pregnant
Mr Johnson's fiancee Carrie Symonds is currently heavily pregnant. Picture: PA

He added that Downing Street was "hugely grateful" for the messages of support that Mr Johnson has received as he undergoes treatment.

The news comes as ministers said it was too early for the UK to begin lifting coronavirus lockdown measures.

Brits have been mostly confined to their homes for two-and-a-half weeks since lockdown measures were brought in to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

The initial three-week lockdown period was due to be reviewed on Easter Monday, and there were also warnings it could be another week and a half before the UK sees the peak of the outbreak.

The World Health Organisation in Europe also said this morning that it was not yet the time to relax lockdown measures.

Health minister Edward Argar made clear today that now is not the time to start easing the restrictions.

Mr Johnson is being treated inside St Thomas' A&E
Mr Johnson is being treated inside St Thomas' A&E. Picture: PA

He told LBC: “The decision will be made when the scientists say is the right time to make it.

"The reason we have these restrictions is because the scientific advice is that it would slow down this virus… but also help beat it.

“When the scientists tell us that they believe the measures have had sufficient effect to bring down that peak they will advise us it’s the time to make changes but we are not there yet.

"Please, don’t relent, stick to following those rules. I can’t give you a date or a time because that will be determined by the scientific evidence."

6,159 deaths have now been recorded in the UK - after another 786 were confirmed on Tuesday.

The number marks the biggest daily increase yet - but the growth rate is now the slowest since the outbreak began.

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